Bottom Line: Choose a better bank

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 8:47 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/CONSUMER REPORTS) - Consumer Reports says, it might be time to break up with your bank if you have high fees, practically no interest on your savings, or poor customer service.

You might not think about shopping around to get the most bang for your buck from your bank, but it could be worth your time.

There are more options than ever—from traditional walk-in branches to credit unions to online-only banks, which have no branches at all.

Each type of bank has positives and negatives. So it’s important to figure out what’s most important to you when you’re looking for a bank.

You might even find that it makes sense to bank at more than one place at a time.

If in-person customer service is important to you, a walk-in bank is your best bet, but even then, it pays to shop around.

You should pay a visit to any bank that you’re considering becoming a part of, to make sure it has everything you need, that the hours make sense for your life, and that the staffing is really up to snuff.

Looking for the best savings rates? Get online and shop around.

Sites like Bankrate and NerdWallet can help. With a quick search, CR found nearly a dozen banks paying interest of 3% or better.

Before you jump at that promotion for a free checking account or high-interest savings account, be sure to read the fine print.

A supposedly “free checking account” isn’t really a bargain if it hits you with huge fees when you overdraft by a few dollars or for other reasons.

Changing banks requires some planning: Be sure to open a new account before closing your existing one.

If you use direct deposit, change it to the new account, as well as any automatic bill payments.

Then transfer any remaining money.

When changing banks, CR also recommends keeping your old account open until all checks and payments have cleared, to keep from getting hit with any fees.

“Consumer Reports TV News” is published by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

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